Sometimes the answers lie in linking two stories that are seemingly irrelevant to one another. So what could one of the answers be to the never ending question 'what is wrong with Egypt?'
There are some pieces of news that many would not take seriously. Those with a sense of humour would laugh them off, others will just keep scrolling to safeguard their sanity and blood pressure. The question is, how many people out there are actually in favour of what the news has to say?
We bring to you two incidents, one year apart and irrelevant to one another and yet represent a rather interesting connection. We chose those two particular incidents not because of their importance, but because of their sheer and utter absurdity.
On the 1st of October 2014, Youm7 very objectively published an article stating that a campaign has been launched supposedly by people who bought New Suez Canal bonds as a patriotic investment, to cancel the interests on the bonds for the love of Egypt. The campaign was hashtagged mesh ‘ayzeen fawayed (We Don’t Want Interests). A lot of people responded with genuine enthusiasm, others with sarcastic enthusiasm, and some claimed that the hashtag is a hoax by Anti-Sisi revolutionaries. It was not clear if the campaign was genuine or a satirical one.
Check the Twitter hashtag for yourself and decide.
One would think if the hashtag is a hoax, then all's well and good. No harm in poking some fun at social and political issues. However, what if the hashtag is genuine? What does that indicate about the population’s IQ levels? Or even worse, their psychological well-being and sense of self worth? What is more disconcerting, is the fact that we are unable to tell if it is a hoax or if it is genuine. It is too utterly ridiculous to be true and yet so believable of a certain segment of society at which we will not point fingers.
Turns out that the Minister of Justice at the time, Mahfouz Saber, had previously addressed the Central Bank asking it to cancel interests on the bonds, thereby encouraging Egyptians (the majority of whom are barely making ends meet, while 26.5% live beneath the poverty line) to ‘donate’ to Egypt under the slogan of ‘For Egypt, and Love for My Country’.
This very same Minister was forced into resignation after making a discriminatory statement clearly saying that those born to fathers who work as garbage men can never be judges.
Ironically, in his stead, the equally eloquence challenged Ahmed El-Zend took his place and stated that the sons of judges will always be judges if they so please and that the judiciary is the master, while the population are but its slaves. He also called for applying Shari’a law, where thieves get their hands cut off, and those who have extramarital sex should be whipped. Charming man.
But wait, why did they oust Morsi then if that’s the path the government wants to take?
Why is El-Zend still Minister of Justice? Why are judges liberally sentencing over 500 people to death who allegedly all together managed to kill one man from the Police Force? And why are they not taxed for their actions? Why are people disappearing? Why are innocent young flourishing talents and brilliant minds locked in jails, many of whom have not yet been tried and have even exceeded the LEGAL number of days to be imprisoned without trial?
The only answers out there regarding this start with one word answers such as ‘corruption’, to the ever so popular statement ‘this is the only way to deal with the Egyptian people and maintain order.’
In any case, it turned out that the campaign was genuine, and not a hoax. Go figure.
About a year later, on the 9th of October 2015, just a few days ago, FayomiaNews, a weekly publication in Fayoum, published a video on its YouTube channel.
The video shows the Governor of Fayoum addressing some people who are either on strike or protest on a water related issue, as if they were 3rd grade kids. But that was not the catastrophic part. A woman yelled out something from the crowd, to which the governor-who is technically an employee of the people-responded by yelling at her that when men speak, women shut up. He then proceeds to address the ‘men’ by scolding them that ‘their women’ are out on the streets at 2 AM. Don’t believe us? Watch the video below.
Now the fact that this happened, and is not a major nationwide scandal where this degenerate individual of a government employee is fired, raises a lot of questions including those mentioned earlier concerning the endless ongoing list of crimes committed by the government against their people who for some reason are unable to fathom that the government answers to them. Yet none of these questions seem to be pressing enough to get anyone to take any form of action or at least a stand.
So it comes as no surprise that the Governor of Fayoum seems to be under the impression that the water he supplied to his people is a personal favour he did for them, and can easily take it away if they misbehave.
The government behaves the way it does because we let it, and we humor it, and anyone who asks for their simple civic and human rights is a foreign funded traitor in the eyes of the government and the supposedly educated social segment that is supporting it because their interests are superficially aligned. Officials are not questioned about their actions unless they directly interfere with the interests of someone higher up the ranks. Our very own president elected by the people, was a man who declared that he ‘has no program’. So first the people choose Morsi, then they choose Sisi? But then again we are talking about a population that was waiting for Hitler with open arms to ‘save’ them from the nasty Brits. So it all falls into place. Will there ever be a moment in the future when Egyptians will say ‘enough is enough’ once and for all?
In any case, before that happens, the majority must make the break through realisation that Egypt as a country is not the government, and it is not the heritage, or the history or beautiful landscapes that only the rich and the privileged get to enjoy; Egypt is its human population. Until we make that massive paradigm shift we will continue to go downhill until all that will be left of Egypt are pictures of propaganda posters in future history books.